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Brace Yourself for Parking Lot Mayhem This Black Friday

Nov. 25, 2021
2 mins
Aerial shot of a crowded parking lot

The days of having to cross-border shop to take advantage of Black Friday deals are no more. Over the last decade, Black Friday sales in Canada have grown exponentially to the point they're now more popular with Canadian shoppers than Boxing Day sales.

According to the Retail Council of Canada's latest holiday shopping survey, 63% of Canadians plan on shopping at brick-and-mortar stores this year, compared to 58% in 2020. Canadians are also planning to spend more: the average amount spent could exceed $800. But supply chain issues induced by the pandemic means there will likely be more competition for fewer goods. The survey found that 44% of shoppers are concerned the stores will be too crowded.

As throngs of shoppers descend on the stores this Black Friday and beyond, two things are certain: the parking lots are going to be busier than usual and secondly, we can all use a refresher on how best to tackle this reality.

1. Give yourself extra time to find parking

It's unlikely you'll find a parking spot quickly, so it's best to go in with the mindset that it will take you longer than normal. If nothing else, this outlook will minimize your frustration and help preserve your holiday cheer.

2. Don't speed around the parking lot

Driving in a parking lot is one of those rare instances where you'll see pedestrians and vehicles forced to share the same space. Take it slow and always keep a watchful eye for pedestrians.

3. Go with the flow

Do not drive in the opposite direction if it's a one-way lane or crisscross lanes to take a shortcut. Follow the signage and go with the flow to minimize the risk of a parking lot collision.

4. Signal your intentions

When circling the parking lot, use your turn signals so that others know what you plan to do next. Whether it's a pedestrian or another vehicle, don't leave them guessing.

5. Resist the urge to wait

Waiting for someone to get to their car, unload their parcels, return the shopping cart and ready themself to leave causes an unnecessary traffic jam. Unless a fellow shopper is in their car ready to leave, don't wait around for the spot to open up.

6. Park within the lines

Take your time to park correctly. Centre your vehicle within the parking spot and don't take up more than one space. And, unless you have a parking permit that allows it, leave the accessible parking spots for those who need it.

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The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

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